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Hospital-acquired flu led to dozens of deaths

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  • Hospital-acquired flu led to dozens of deaths

    The study of 75 English hospitals - about a quarter of the total - found that 30 patients caught the H1N1 swine flu virus while in hospital during the 2009 pandemic, of which eight died.

    If those figures were representative of England as a whole, it would mean that approximately 120 people would have caught the virus in hospital and over 30 would have died.

    Swine flu is still considered a major threat, having killed more people last winter than any other type. It is one of three strains covered by this year's seasonal vaccine, which is available to all over 65s, those of any age in 'at risk' groups, and NHS staff.

    There is intense concern at the Department of Health that too few doctors and nurses are getting themselves vaccinated, and that they could be a significant source of infection among the ill, who are most likely to suffer severe consequences from flu and even die.

    Only a third (34.7 per cent) of frontline NHS staff opted to receive the jab last winter, despite it being available free of charge to them.